Many women deal with premenstrual symptoms (PMS) once a month. But some have an even more severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder - or PMDD.
And the extreme mood changes that come with it can be alarming.
PMDD affects about 8 percent of women during their reproductive years. Those with a family history of depression have a higher risk of developing the condition. Previous studies have also shown a possible link between PMDD and low levels of serotonin – a chemical in the brain that helps transmit nerve signals.
Symptoms of PMDD typically present during the last week of the menstrual cycle, but start to improve within a few days after menstruation begins.
Typical symptoms include:
- Mood swings and anxiety
- Anger or irritability
- Feelings of depression
- Sleep problems and fatigue
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
Doctors have prescribed antidepressants to treat PMDD, but there are also natural remedies that can help curb symptoms.
According to Dr. Jennifer Landa, an expert in bioidentical hormone therapy, women can take various vitamin supplements to help ease PMDD problems – including vitamin E, calcium, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
Landa said that herbal remedies such as evening primrose oil and chaste tree berry has also been shown to help in studies.
But, this was just the first step in a long process to find relief. In